Essential Books for Academics

Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications

Wasserman, Stanley, and Faust, Katherine. USA, New York (1994): Cambridge University Press.

Wasserman and Faust’s book is often referred to as “the bible” in the social network analysis community. At more than 700 pages (excluding references, appendix etc.) it is a long read too. To most it will be useful as reference work. The mathematics behind social network analysis (graph theory) is well explained and the methodology of the field is also well documented. It is an introduction to social network analysis in general, so do not expect any useful examples for organizational development: emphasis is on social and behavioural sciences.

Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World

Easley, David, and Kleinberg, Jon. USA, Cambridge (2010): Cambridge University Press.

A good introduction to networks (not just social networks) is Easley and Kleinberg’s book. While it is meant as a textbook for undergraduates, it is still a great introduction to network science for academics at all levels that are new to the field. A variety models from as different study fields as economics, engineering and social sciences are put into a network perspective. It will make you recognize networks all around you.

Introduction to Social Network Methods

Hanneman, Robert A., and Riddle, Mark. USA, Riverside (2005): University of California, Riverside.

This book (freely available on the authors’ website) is perhaps the best starting point for academics new to social network analysis. It is a great introduction because it underpins lessons on social networks with practi- cal examples. The sections on two-mode and multiplex networks are particularly interesting. It is available in digital form at


Essential Books for Business Professionals


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